Dr. Betsy Cook Weber is the Madison Endowed Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Houston Moores School of Music and is also active internationally as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer.
Choirs under Weber's direction, including the University of Houston Concert Chorale, have been featured at multiple state and national conventions including the American Choral Directors Association national convention in Miami in 2007 and in Minneapolis in 2017. Internationally, Concert Chorale has won prizes and received acclaim at prestigious competitions in Wales, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands, including a first-place finish as one of only ten choirs world-wide selected to compete in the famous International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany. In 2018 they won the Grand Prix at the Bela Bartok International Choral Competition in Hungary, and in 2019 they competed in the European Grand Prix in Italy.
In the summer of 2013, Weber became the thirteenth person and first woman to receive the Texas Choral Directors Association's coveted Texas Choirmaster Award, and she serves as editor of the Betsy Cook Weber Choral Series with Alliance Music Publishing. Weber also served for eight seasons as Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus, preparing programs for some of the world’s leading orchestral conductors including Juraj Valcuha, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Jane Glover, and Nicholas McGegan among many others. She was named Director Emeritus in 2022.
Weber has prepared singers for early music orchestras Ars Lyrica and Mercury Houston and is also routinely called upon to prepare singers for touring shows, including Josh Groban, NBC's Clash of the Choirs, Telemundo's Lain Grammys, Star Wars in Concert, Andreas Bocelli, Eric Whitacre, and The Eagles.
Before coming to the University of Houston, Weber taught vocal music, K-12, in the public schools. She holds degrees from the University of North Texas, Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ), and the University of Houston.
Alex Koppel, a native of the central coast of California, is the Visiting Professor of Choral Music at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. Alex holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from San Jose State University and has completed coursework towards the Doctor of Music in Choral Conducting at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Alex’s undergraduate studies were completed at California State University Fullerton in Music Education with a vocal emphasis.
Known for his inclusive pedagogy and community-oriented process, Alex has been a part of numerous award-winning programs. His ensembles have received national acclaim, regularly receiving unanimous superiors at national adjudications and festivals. Recent conducting engagements include Beethoven’s Mass in C, Haydn’s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, Faure’s Requiem, and concertizing the program To the Stars – a collaboration with the IU Five Friends artist Dr. Lynne Morrow. As an Associate Conductor for the Jacobs School of Music, Alex prepared works including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Poulenc’s Gloria, and the world premiere of Shulamit Ran’s opera Anne Frank. Alex is also an accomplished high school educator, previously serving as the Director of Music at Kirby Preparatory School, being on staff at the renowned Arrowbear Music Camp in Southern California, and being an in-demand adjudicator and festival conductor.
Alex is passionate about creating collaborative and supportive experiences in his choirs, and his graduate research has centered around applying these concepts. He has prepared presentations on these topics for regional choral education conferences. His dissertation (forthcoming) focuses on contextualizing Beethoven’s Mass in C in in the lineage of the choral orchestral canon, as well as a conductor's guide and analysis.
Alex has studied conducting, piano, and music pedagogy with greats including Betsy Burleigh, Dominick DiOrio, Walter Huff, Cheryl Anderson, Chris Peterson, and Robert Istad. He has performed under the baton of artists such as Eric Whitacre, Thomas Wilkins, Arthur Fagen, John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carl StClaire, and Gustavo Dudamel, as well as performing on stage with Josh Groban, Deborah Voigt, and Andrea Bocelli.